The hypothesis that the Cordilleran geosyncline originated as an Atlantic-type continental margin by the rifting of an older Precambrian continental mass and the opening of a new ocean basin leads to the question of where the counterpart of the North American Precambrian craton may be. The Siberian platform—a large, discrete, older Precambrian craton, lodged in northeast Asia and surrounded by younger fold belts—is a likely candidate for the missing Precambrian continental fragment. The outline of its northeast margin fits the southwest margin of the North American Precambrian craton to produce a congruence of tectonic grain and age provinces. Both margins are overlapped by sediments of the same general type that began to accumulate about 1,500 m.y. ago, after the initiation of the separation.

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